The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), representative of owners and operators of U.S.-flagged passenger vessels of all types, has developed a manual to help its members comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-issued General Permit for wastewater discharges incidental to normal vessel operations.
The PVA Manual for Compliance with the EPA Vessel General Permit (VGP) for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of a Vessel is a service by PVA for its members. It describes the authorized discharges, summarizes best management practices, explains inspection and recordkeeping requirements, and points out which states have appended extra conditions to the EPA Vessel General Permit.
The terms of the EPA Vessel General Permit went into effect on Friday, February 6, 2009. All commercial vessels of 79 ft in length or greater will be automatically covered. The VGP also applies to ballast water discharges from commercial vessels regardless of length. Issued in response to a federal court order, the EPA Vessel General Permit represents a major expansion of federal regulation of commercial vessel operations.
To read the Vessel General Permit in full, go to the EPA web page at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350. An accompanying lengthy fact sheet and other documentation regarding the permit are also located on the EPA web page.